Which Riding Disciplines Are Taught? 

WESTERN AND ENGLISH RIDING, HORSEMANSHIP

 We certainly agree that loping a horse is quite enjoyable, and our students are anxious to get to that gait. A balanced, steady, relaxed seat must first be achieved before students can safely lope.  Students normally achieve a correct western seat between the Advanced Beginner, and Novice Levels. Here is a list of what the students need to be able to do in order to progress to the next level. We teach some dressage along with the discipline basics, which gives the students a wonderful seat and foundation from which to build on.

 Man Riding WesternMan Riding Western

RIDER LEVEL CLASSIFICATION CHART –

WESTERN RIDING & HORSEMANSHIP

 

WESTERN RIDING, HORSEMANSHIP

Riding Skills

Horsemanship Skills

Beginner Skills with Weekly Lessons

Learn to properly mount and dismount horse.

Learn to hold the reins properly, and establishing proper rein length. (Riding with one hand comes later.)

Introduction to setting the horse’s head and putting the horse into frame riding “from leg to hand” with two hands.

Learn to steer the horse combing rein and leg pressure. 

Learn proper seat, and balance.

Learn to find their proper foot position in the stirrups.

Learn to sit the jog with relaxed hips.

Learn the way to ask for a proper whoa.

Introduction to arena etiquette, including how to safely pass another horse on the rail.

Begin working on steadying hands, keeping heels down always, keeping shoulders square and keeping body still, yet relaxed.

Introduction to backing a horse.

Introduction to the use of proper breathing while transitioning.

Learn the emergency circle.

Being able to ride a variety of beginner horses.

Introduction to controlling horse's speed and direction at the walk.

Introduction to controlling horse's speed and direction at the jog.

Learn how to halter and lead horse.

Learn how to cross tie horse.

Learn how to properly groom the horse, and pick the horses’ feet.

Learn how to saddle the horse.

Learn how to identify basic parts of the saddle, the bridle, and horse.

Learn to properly move the horse on the ground.

Learn proper body language to convey leadership to a horse.

Learn how to fit a bit properly.

Understanding a horse's body language; i.e. ear pinning, tail swishing, and head tossing.

Be able to tell by looking at a horse if something is wrong (i.e., lameness, possible illness, etc.)

Advanced Beginner Skills with Weekly Lessons

Perfect backing the horse.

Perfect proper hand position and rein length.

Jog around the entire arena – sitting trot.

Walk/jog transitions.

Perfect using proper breathing while executing transitions.

Learn to find proper stirrup length.

Lead horse to arena, enter gate, and mount horse unassisted.

Independently execute warm up including setting the horse’s head with two hands, and putting the horse into frame, while riding leg to hand.  Warm up includes flexion exercises.

Negotiate pattern exercises at the jog.

Introduction to the lope with the proper lope cue, and beginning to recognize leads.

Jog over ground poles to perfect softening hands at different speeds allowing the horse to have his head.

Introduction to extension and collection at the jog

Learn to jog the horse on a consistent bend on a 15’ diameter, first with two hands and progress to one hand.

Introduction on how to direct and indirect rein.

Be able to ride a variety of more challenging horses.

Learn to post the job with proper diagonals.

Being able to ride a variety of more challenging horses.

Complete control of horse's speed and direction at a walk and jog.

Introduction to controlling a horse's speed and direction at a lope.

Smooth rein collection and lengthening between gaits.

Introduction to steering a horse while backing.

Learn to single tie horse.

Be able to tack, bridle and unbridle horse with little assistance.

Name saddle and bridle parts.

Groom horse for show ring if student is a show student.

Learn about horse care; i.e. vaccines, teeth floating, worming, etc.

Recognize horse behavior and understand the "herd mentality."

The importance of how to lunge a horse.

Independently execute warm up including jumping position on rail and flexion exercises.



Novice Skills with Weekly Lessons

Solid grasp of riding skills of a Beginner and Advanced Beginner rider. Independent warm up is expected.

Perfect patterns at all gaits.

Perfect lope leads and be able to recognize correct leads.

Navigate inside and outside the arena comfortably.

Perfect riding from “leg to hand” while maintaining soft hands and an acceptable rein length.

Perfect extension and collection using breathing, soft hands, and proper use of legs.

Ride the jog without stirrups while maintaining a proper relaxed seat.

Be able to ride the most challenging lesson horses.

Perfect direct and indirect rein.

Learn haunch turns and side passing.

Control of horses speed and direction should come independently.

Learn trail riding skills.

Learn how to move a horse through "scary" obstacles.



Catch your mount unassisted in the pasture.

Know names of common bits, why they are used, and how they work.

Be able to independently catch, tack, bridle, untack, unbridle, and turnout horse.

Establish leadership role a must, and how to achieve it.

Learn a variety of groundwork and round pen exercises.

Be able to independently lunge a horse with join up.



Intermediate Skills with Weekly Lessons

Mastered beginner, advanced beginner, and novice levels. Independent warm up is expected.

Jogging and loping circles and serpentines to perfect work on flying changes.

Jogging and transitioning seat begins to look easy and effortless.

Perfect awareness of leads, and foot positioning.

Rider is mastering work with all aids and is gaining an independent seat.

Perfect awareness of leads, and foot positioning.

Keeping the horse on the bit, in frame, yet relaxed and willing becomes top priority.

The rider’s balance is superb and all gaits are even and controlled.

Rider is mastering work with all aids and is gaining an independent seat.

Rider should be able to feel comfortable on all horses now.

Works on “turns on the forehand” and “haunch turns” improves greatly, and begins to really come together.

Side passing improves greatly.

Move a horse’s shoulder, rib, and hind using direct and indirect rein and weight shifting.

Rider should be able to feel very comfortable.

Understand the functions of all tack and how and why they are used.

Be able to work through behavioral issues of a horse on the ground, and under saddle.

 

 ENGLISH

People always ask why our English students aren't typically permitted to jump until they achieve the Intermediate rider level. Here is a list of what the student needs to be able to do in order to progress to the next level. We teach some dressage along with the discipline basics, which gives the students a wonderful seat and foundation from which to build on.

 English Rider on Horse

  

      RIDER LEVEL CLASSIFICATION CHART –

ENGLISH & HORSEMANSHIP 

  

ENGLISH/ HUNTSEAT

Riding Skills

Horsemanship Skills

Beginner Skills with Weekly Lessons

Learn to properly mount and dismount horse.

Learn to hold the reins properly, and establishing proper rein length.

Learn to steer the horse.

Learn the way to ask for a proper whoa.

Learn proper seat, and balance.

Learn to find their proper foot position in the stirrups.

Learn to trot and post the trot with proper diagonals.

Introduction to the half halt.

Introduction to arena etiquette, including how to safely pass another horse on the rail.

Begin working on steadying hands, keeping heels down always, keeping shoulders square and keeping body still, yet relaxed.

Introduction to backing a horse.

Introduction to the use of proper breathing while transitioning.

Learn the emergency circle.

Being able to ride a variety of beginner horses.

Introduction to controlling horse's speed and direction at the walk.

Introduction to controlling horse's speed and direction at the trot.

Learn the jumping position.

Learn riding from “leg to hand.”

Learn how to halter and lead horse.

Learn how to cross tie horse.

Learn how to properly groom the horse, and pick the horses’ feet.

Learn how to saddle the horse.

Learn how to identify basic parts of the saddle, the bridle, and horse.

Learn to properly move the horse on the ground.

Learn proper body language to convey leadership to a horse.

Learn how to fit a bit properly.

Understanding a horse's body language; i.e. ear pinning, tail swishing, and head tossing.

Be able to tell by looking at a horse if something is wrong (i.e., lameness, possible illness, etc.)

Advanced Beginner Skills with Weekly Lessons

Perfect backing the horse.

Perfect proper hand position and rein length.

Posting trot around the entire arena.

Walk/trot transitions.

Perfect using proper breathing while executing transitions.

Learn to find proper stirrup length.

Lead horse to arena, enter gate, and mount horse unassisted.

Recognize correct diagonals at the trot.

Negotiate pattern exercises at the trot.

Introduction to flat work in preparation to jumping.

Trot ground poles posting, and in the jumping position.

Perfect the use of the half halt to be applied to the warm up, and while “gearing down” the horses in the different gaits.

Independently execute warm up including two-point on rail and flexion exercises.

Introduction to canter with the proper canter cue, learning to recognize correct leads.

Learn to ride with a direct rein from elbow to bit, for extension and collection.

Learn to trot horse in a consistent bend on a 15’ diameter in arena corners.

Introduction to the extended walk and the extended trot.

Being able to ride a variety of more challenging horses.

Complete control of horse's speed and direction at a walk.

Complete control of a horse's speed and direction at a trot.

Introduction to controlling a horse's speed and direction at a canter.

Smooth rein collection and lengthening between gaits.

Introduction to steering a horse while backing.

Learn to single tie horse.

Be able to tack, bridle and unbridle horse with little assistance.

Name saddle and bridle parts.

Groom horse for show ring if student is a show student.

Learn about horse care; i.e. vaccines, teeth floating, worming, ect.

Recognize horse behavior and understand the "herd mentality."

The importance of how to lunge a horse.

Independently execute warm up including jumping position on rail and flexation exercises.



Novice Skills with Weekly Lessons

Solid grasp of riding skills of a Beginner and Advanced Beginner rider. Independent warm up is expected.

Perfect flatwork patterns at all gaits.

Trot small cross rails and low verticals.

Perfect canter leads and be able to recognize correct leads

Navigate inside and outside the arena comfortably.

Perfect riding from “leg to hand.”

Perfect riding with the horse on the bit, for extension and collection.

Learn lead changes on a figure eight.

Trot and canter approach to jumps.

Learn opening circles, and taking a long approach to jumps.

Learn the half seat position, and when to use it.

Learn diagonal lines in flatwork, in half seat, and while posting the trot.

Posting trot without stirrups.

Perfect the extended walk and the extended trot.

Learn striding of jumps, and finding the distance.

Begin doing course work with 18”cross rails, and higher verticals, including diagonal lines.

Be able to ride the most challenging lesson horses.

Trot in trot out jumps.

Trot in canter out jumps.

Control of horses speed and direction should come independently.

Learn trail riding skills.

Learn how to move a horse through "scary" obstacles.



Catch your mount unassisted in the pasture.

Know names of common bits, why they are used, and how they work.

Be able to independently catch, tack, bridle, untack, unbridle, and turnout horse.

Establish leadership role a must, and how to achieve it.

Learn a variety of groundwork and roundpen exercises.

Be able to independently lunge a horse with join up.



Intermediate Skills with Weekly Lessons

Mastered beginner, advanced beginner, and novice levels. Independent warm up is expected.

Posting and transitioning seat begin to look easy and effortless.

Trotting and cantering circles and serpentines to perfect work on flying changes.

Canter the long approach to jumps.

Canter opening circles to jumps.

Jump entire course at the canter.

Perfect recognizing the distance and landing points of the jumps.

Fence heights go from 18" – 2'+.

Perfect awareness of leads, and foot positioning.

Jump grids and more difficult combinations are added for course jumping

Striding, take off and landing distances become very important.

Rider is mastering work with all aids and is gaining an independent seat.

Rider should be able to feel comfortable on all horses now.

Effortlessly slide from full seat to jumping position to half seat.

Lead changes over jumps.

Fewer strides between jumps.

Feel if a horse needs to lengthen or shorten his stride to jump smoothly.

Intro to oxers and course jumps.

Understand the functions of all tack and how and why they are used.

Be able to work through behavioral issues of a horse on the ground, and under saddle.